Skidmore collecting 'truckloads' of food
By Lee Coleman (Reprinted from the Daily Gazette, December 22, 2006)
A new program at Skidmore College, called Skidmore Cares, has collected nearly twice as many food items for the local food pantry than first expected.
"We are talking about truckloads," said economics professor Roy Rotheim.
Skidmore student athletes and local children with donated food
Rotheim said that Marie Glotzbach, wife of Skidmore College president Philip Glotzbach and a theater lecturer at the college, suggested the new program early this fall.
"The whole purpose was to get people working in teams to create a sense of community in every way," Rotheim said.
Marie Glotzbach said the idea was to engage the entire Skidmore community, faculty, support staff and students. The goal was to provide the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council food pantry at 40 New St. with a month's worth of food.
Organizers said Friday that since the response has been so strong, the program may be able to provide two months of nonperishable food items to the pantry.
Glotzbach gathered a group of Skidmore people together this fall to discuss the project, including Rotheim.
Rotheim, who has taught at Skidmore College for 26 years, has also been a volunteer cook at the EOC's soup kitchen for 18 years.
He said the food pantry and soup kitchen always need donations.
Starting in November, the various segments of the college started bringing in items and donating money to Skidmore Cares.
Glotzbach said the project received a much greater response than expected from the students.
For example, the Student Athletic Advisory Committee raised $1,800 and donated 200 cans of food for the project.
"It was a huge success," said Megan Riley, a senior from Dallas, Pa.
Riley, a SAAC representative and member of the Skidmore women's rowing team, said her organization had a "dorm vs. dorm" competition to see which dormitory could collect the most money and canned goods.
The Kimball Hall dorm was the winner, with 100 percent of the students participating.
Riley said what made things easier for students is that they could use their plastic Skidmore identifi - cation and cafeteria credit card to donate money.
"They could just swipe their card," Riley said about donating to Skidmore Cares. She said students' donations ranged from $2 to $10.
Dennis Brunelle, executive director of the Saratoga County EOC, said the food pantry gets depleted during the holidays.
"The program that Skidmore has is needed and extremely beneficial to us," Brunelle said.
He said the truckloads of food items will be split between the food pantry and the EOC's soup kitchen.
"Use of the pantry and soup kitchen goes up during the holidays," Brunelle said.
Brunelle said this is the first time an institution or organization has decided to provide an entire month's worth of food items to the EOC pantry.
"This is the first time anyone set this goal," Brunelle said.
The food pantry at the EOC's headquarters at 40 New St. is open from 1 to 3:45 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Food items being donated include spaghetti sauce, pasta, peanut butter and jelly, tuna, hearty soups, flour, canned fruit, canned juice, canned meat, powdered milk and mashed potatoes.
The Skidmore faculty and staff continued to donate items to the food pantry over the weekend during the Glotzbachs' annual holiday open house at the Scribner House on North Broadway.
Glotzbach said the college community is also bringing in "gently used books" for young people as part of Saratoga Cares.
She said the program wants to provide local children in need with a holiday gift of a book.
She said members of the Skidmore athletics teams are helping sort and package the food items and books.
"We want them to be aware of those not as fortunate," Glotzbach said.
©2006 the Daily Gazette